Rob Clutton is certainly one of the most prodigious, prolific, and radically creative bassists working out of Toronto.  He is or has been a member of, This Moment, NOJO, the Steve Koven Trio, Jazzstory, Handslang, John Millard and Happy Day, the Ryan Driver Quartet and numerous other ongoing projects involving musicians such as David Mott, Nick Fraser, Doug Tielli, Brodie West, and Eric Chenaux.  Rob also has two CD’s released featuring his own band and compositions: Tender Buttons and Holstein Dream Pageant.  These recordings showed Rob to have an utterly particular compositional imagination as weird layerings of extended improvisations slide in and around the liquid architecture of his prescribed, modular materials.  As Stuart Broomer said in the notes for Holstein Dream Pageant: "It's not music that lends itself to easy definition; instead, it's music that defines itself along with the act of listening, assuming shapes in subtle accord with a listener's own potential". The same could be said of his new release on Rat-drifting,  Dubious Pleasures.  It's a solo string bass album and it's also a collection of nine very distinct compositions. But if Rob's writing for ensemble embraces formal machinations—peculiar successions, montagings and collagings—these solo works circumscribe nine very focused proposals of what a piece can be.  Each can almost sound like a vernacular music; nine artefacts from nine impossible cultures handed down through uncanny oral traditions. Even at their most sonically extrapolated they never sound like mere modernist explorations (although a sense of more alchemical experimentation is evident throughout).  Rob is a fiddler and a drummer. For all its clarity this music never gives up its mystery.