Air is the dominant theme of this album, as a partial scan of the list of instruments shows: car tire, plastic tubes, an air compressor, gas burner, electric fans, accordion, whistling, and a turntable-powered wind instrument.
On 'Paradiesseits' Blixa sings that "all images are the wind...", and in 'Boreas' ('North Wind') he asks when the wind will come "that billows our words' sails?" The latter is powered by the eerie sound of amplified steel wires, and features a haunting, fragile melody, like delicate crystals of ice, evoking a deep sense of yearning for the lost Hyperborea. The opening track 'Ich Gehe Jetzt', by contrast, feels contemplative. Bargeld sounds like he is thinking about setting out on a journey...taking his time, spinning a globe of the world in his study. Maybe he thinks the whole world should spin with him.
The title track is a true epic, an amazing evocation of constant motion that owes something to Kraftwerk's 'Trans Europa Express'. But although 'A Rare Bird' carries in its beak a new song ("das neue Lied"), we should never forget that the dead are ever present, as the haunting song 'Dead Friends' reminds us...
'Perpetuum Mobile' is a remarkable album, and (along with 'Silence is Sexy') represents Einstürzende Neubauten's finest work.