The incantation that begins Octo Octa’s “I Need You,” 30 seconds of euphoric moaning, could introduce any number of songs. A post-yoga chant could develop with layers of blissed-out voices and the hum of a harmonium. A ’90s house sound might emerge, with a diva calling the shots over groovy drums. What actually happens is a bit of both, nine full minutes of bliss masquerading as a beauty of a dance track. “I Need You” is unquestionably the most perfect moment yet for Octo Octa, a producer who was a core member of the scrappy and adventurous house sound of the California label 100% Silk just a few years ago. Newly signed to Ninja Tune, her skills as a producer have caught up with her ambition. While “I Need You” is not a complicated song it still grabs you tight and hugs you close.
There are brief jabs of dissonance that do give the song dimension, a few separate melodies that ebb and flow. And about halfway through “I Need You,” someone speaks. It’s a quiet, brief list of people who are needed: family, friends, loved ones. “I love you. Thank you for being there. It means so much to me.” That last sentence is repeated, until it eventually fades away. But it’s so earnest you won’t forget it. If you’re listening to the song close, if you’re dancing hard, if you’re sad and need a pick-me-up, if you’re in love and want an anthem, you’ll shout it from the rooftops.