Interesting post @VDB - I feel/have felt the same.
A focus in subject matter or vibe is a cool way to go. Mates and I have been plugging away at an album for ourselves for a couple of years now (tracks are largely there but lyrics/vocals, as always, are taking forever!). At the mid point is this 13 or 14 minute long 4 part track that was unconsciously written about the oil refinery I live near (Grangemouth). That makes it sound totally shit haha but its a place that has some cool imagery. It's like Blade Runner if you drive through it at night and at times of the year it can really light up the sky. It hangs together really well - would actually make a cool EP come to think of it.
I also went through a post-dubstep phase that I attempted to replicate but, like you, I over do things and find it impossible to let things breath. I think that's why I tried hard to replicate the vibe as while the scene is layered it is done in a very different way.
Oh, and a simplified workflow has helped me a great deal. On a bit of a break just now while I transfer everything from one computer to the new one that is en route but really looking forward to sitting down with Push 2, AR, AK and FS1R. Bases covered and, thanks to Overbridge, the only one I need to muck about with a little more is the FS1R.