To me, the thing about minimalism is that nearly all its techniques can be found unreducio ad absurdam in earlier works - the daybreak movement from "Daphnis"; the first of the same composer's Mallarme settings; Satie's Entr'Acte Cinematographique - as subsidiary elements within broader canvases. And in jazz: the unchanging or near-unchanging backdrop to Coltrane's "My Favorite Things", to name but one example. In all these earlier instances, something else of greater interest than mere repetition, especially in some reductively banalising mechanised manifestation, holds the interest. In early minimalism it was improvised superlayering (In C); progressive abstraction (Its Gonna Rain) phasing by means of rallentando/acellerando (Drumming) - in each instance cited from many other possible choices offering an alternative form of listening shorn of preconceptions. To jump from the sublime to the ridiculous, Lento does none of these things; in no way can its deliberate return to diatonic basics represent a challenge to listener expectations; that could only take place in a fantasy world in which tonic/dominant tonal relations have long been expunged from the communal musical memory; in a world dominated by commercial music it represents complete capitulation to them - and that's what I intended to mean by my pop music analogy.
Hope that clarifies my position!