The 4 principles of techno minimalism by Underdog
1. Subtle motifs
Two elements bouncing at each other
Ensure something is going on in the lows, in the mids & the highs. Choose a phrase length & design it to create a simple groove.
Too little is boring, too much is distracting
Create movement in the timbre of your elements. Use modulating effects, tweak filters, change envelope lengths, LFOs or automation to create movement.
Slightly unstable, but exciting in moderation
Simple grooves become endlesly listenable when you add 1 or 2 polymeters to them. During breaks polymeters make it hard to guess where the ‘1’ of the groove is, which is satisfying, when resolved.
4. Tension and release
Make the audience wait
Evolve the global story of the track to build up tension and then release that tension. Make them want it, tease them, drive them crazy! Use contrast (busy vs sparse). Use reversed reverb tails as buildups.