To escape the Melbourne chill I’ve been doing some air travel recently. Before leaving I consulted with a seasoned traveller who swears by closed headphones and Max Richter’s Sleep (Deutsceh Grammophon), an eight hour suite designed with the consultation of neuroscientists to lull all listeners into fitful slumber. It’s good advice, given I’ve only ever been able to listen to 20 odd minutes before snoring shamelessly into a strangers armpit. Yet aviation exposes us to all kinds of distended emotions, and in the 20th hour of a long haul flight, with square eyes, itchy feet and a fragmented soul, an epiphany occurred. I reached for Eluivium (aka Portland’s Matthew Cooper). I’d first encountered him via 2007’s Indecipherable Text (Sensory Projects), that I liken to a warm cocoon, except at some point you’d look up and realised your fist is in the air. I closed my eyes and pressed play on his forthcoming False Readings On (Temporary Residence), and within seconds was awash with warm overdriven organ, disembodied chorals and tentative piano. Trapped somewhere between sleep and awake, the dense ambience was a tonic to my unconscious. Curiously the album’s based on cognitive dissonance in modern society, yet somehow my own feverish state converted anxiety into joyous discovery. I have no idea whether I listened to one song or the entire album, but I can tell you that listening again as I write these words, the connection is now permanent, and it’s hard to imagine that music can get any better.