Dorado Records was founded in 1992 by Ollie Buckwell in Soho, London.
Key signings in the early years were D*Note, Outside, Jhelisa and Brooklyn Funk Essentials and the label released many classic recordings, such as ”The Plan” and ”To Forgive But Not Forget” by Outside, Friendly Pressure” and ”Whirl Keeps Turning”from Jhelisa, ”Take the L Train” and “The Creator Has A Masterplan” by Brooklyn Funk Essentials and ”D*Votion”and ”The Garden Of Earthly Delights” by D*Note. The label was part of a movement that came out of London in the early nineties, tagged as Acid Jazz or Trip Hop and that included several other independents, Acid Jazz, Mo Wax, Ninja Tune and Talkin Loud.
In 1995 Dorado launched the electronic dance off shoot, Filter and Sunship, DJ Q, Box Saga, Kid Loops and The Amalgamation Of Soundz were added to the roster. Sunship’s” ”Try Me Out” and ”Cheque One Two”, Kid Loops” ”Microphone Fiend”, and the Amalgamamtion of Soundz” ”Enchant Me” are still featured on playlists and compliations.
The label embraced technology very early with an award winning website that offered the catalogue streamed in full as early as 1998 and in 2003 they were one of the first independents to license their catalogue to iTunes. As well as developing artists, the label also nurtured executive talent. Charlie Lexton, Ross Allen, Iona Hames, Ed Millet, Roisin Duffy, Sam Sandell, Julie Bleeker, Rebecca Cresta, Marc Waxman, Sasha Nixon, Shirley McDermott, Duncan Stump, Chris Pattinson and Rachel Watkins mostly all had their first jobs in the music business at Dorado and contributed greatly to the label’s success.
In 2004, Dorado opened a US office and in 2005, released the debut album from Cities Of Foam, ”A Great Day For The Races” with the track “Without You” featured on iTunes as single of the week. In 2006, the first of four albums from Natalie Walker were released ”Urban Angel” (2006), as followed by ”With You” (2008), ”Spark” (2011) and Strange Bird” (2015). These records received wide critical and commercial success and their tracks ”Waking Dream”, ”With You”, ”Uptight” and ”Superstition, to name a few, have been featured in dozens of TV shows and Movies. In 2015, Dorado and Brooklyn Funk Essentials reunited and released their fifth album ”Funk Ain”t Ova” on November 13th. This album quickly became their most successful to date, thanks to wide support on streaming platforms. Brooklyn Funk Essentials released their sixth album ‘Stay Good’ on September 20th 2019.
In 2021 Dorado signed NIN3S and released the debut album ‘Hopeyard’ in April 2022. It included the singles Khokhoba and The Tunnel. Jhelisa also rejoined the label, releasing the Meditational double album ‘7 Keys’ in 2021 and her opus, ‘Oxygen’ in 2022.